Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

So did I get any colorful sunset pictures?

with 32 comments

The last post showed two uncolorful clouds-plus-vulture pictures that
I took along Lost Horizon Dr. on January 6th while waiting for the sun to set.
Soon some colors tinged the clouds, first subtle ones and then some more vivid.
In the second photo, the white clouds were closer and moved faster than the others.

Eventually the sun set.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 19, 2019 at 4:44 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

32 Responses

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  1. You did.

    automatic gardener

    January 19, 2019 at 7:26 AM

  2. The egg yolk yellow in the second photo is remarkable. I’m not sure I’ve seen that color in a sunset before. The sequence as a whole is a good reminder of something I’ve had to learn: sunset is more than the moment the sun drops behind the horizon. The whole show can take a good bit of time, and there isn’t any predicting what will happen even after you think there’s no color left to see. The variety from moment to moment can be remarkable, and you’ve shown it well here.


    January 19, 2019 at 7:39 AM

    • Some of the best colors I’ve seen have come longer than I’d have expected after the sun disappeared below the horizon. In a few cases I’ve experienced two colorful episodes, a pre-set and a post-set with a blander stretch in between. As you say, it can take a while, and sometimes the waiting doesn’t end in anything colorful; because there’s no way to know, what can we do but wait it out?

      My best harvest of waiting-it-out pictures in recent years came at Camel Rock in 2017:


      Steve Schwartzman

      January 19, 2019 at 8:08 AM

  3. Those are beautiful! Yes, the whole show can take some time, and the colors (and clouds) change rapidly.

    I forget whether you ever captured any green ray effects at sundown. Would love to see that!

    Lavinia Ross

    January 19, 2019 at 7:44 AM

  4. Very fine.


    January 19, 2019 at 9:58 AM

  5. You did! On the other hand… there are the times when you’re driving along and see the most super spectacular amazing sky (clouds or sunsets), but by the time you manage to pull over somewhere, the show is over!


    January 19, 2019 at 4:39 PM

  6. All three make a very nice set. The first is my favorite and reminds me of Porter’s cover shot for “In Wildness” although that was a reflection.

    Steve Gingold

    January 19, 2019 at 6:10 PM

    • How interesting that you see a similarity to the In Wildness cover, which I just looked at side by side with the first photograph so I could compare them. I certainly see the similarity in colors. Now if only I could have had leaves floating in my sky…. I noticed one reader’s review of the book on Amazon mistakenly attributes the book’s words to Emerson.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 20, 2019 at 6:00 AM

  7. Very nice drama.


    January 20, 2019 at 9:48 AM

  8. I love it when the setting sun catches the clouds like in your second picture. We haven’t had much in the way of sunsets this winter – too much cloud on the horizon – but the other evening I did capture some clouds in the east that had caught some colour. A reminder to me to post an image.


    January 20, 2019 at 10:11 AM

    • I’m not surprised to hear that you’ve had “too much cloud on the horizon” in northern Europe in the winter. Perhaps enough images like the one you’re about to post will rid me of an over-generalization.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 20, 2019 at 10:20 AM

  9. I like them all, but the combination of colors in the first is very appealing: a blue gradient going to yellow at the bottom, with the contrasting cloud at the top. Pretty.


    January 20, 2019 at 10:14 AM

    • Generally I, and I suppose most photographers, go after the most vivid sunset colors. That’s why I posted the first image, to show that more-subtle colors can also make an effective sunset image. In this case, as you pointed out, there’s a pleasant gradient from top to bottom. I’m also happy when I can show sunset pictures with a vertical orientation, as most are horizontal.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 20, 2019 at 10:24 AM

  10. Yes (even more succinct).


    January 23, 2019 at 4:35 PM

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